This must be the summer of BIG cities, because we are hitting Philly on our way to New York City! We are anxious and excited all at once. ;)
We had a 5 hour travel day as we headed towards New Jersey, where we will park for the duration of our stay. I usually take the front seat, pop the recliner and get some work done, and this trip was no exception.
My cute little waiter brought me some yummy "food" and a bell to call him back when I was done eating it.
We got in a bit of a traffic jam outside of DC, so the kids passed the time by yelling Hi and Happy Birthday to the other drivers. lol :)
Don't you dare get out of the front seat, not even for a minute. We have a chair hog in the house!
We got settled in for the night and made plans to meet them at 10 the next morning.
We took a toll road and headed in to the city, crossing over the Benjamin Franklin bridge.
You know our goal is always to eat the local culture and see the local sites. When we ran to the grocery store, we found a little Water Ice shop. Dale had just seen a food show about Water Ice and how it was first served here. Cool AND delish!
We are super thankful to have family in the area to show us around!!!! My cousin Jason and his lovely wife, Karena are going to take some time and hang out with us. YAY!
They have a BEAUTIFUL modern home on the most darling street! Our hosts told us their neighborhood used to be the horse stables or block home slave quarters. I am telling you, this area is so full of history! If the walls could talk!
We chatted a bit in the living room, while Dale taught Ty to juggle, and then we were off, a short walk to the city square. I could not get enough of the gorgeous brick homes! Most are 3 levels with a room on each.
We walked through the most beautiful neighborhoods and stopped at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the Revolutionary war. The thing we love most about Philly is you are literally walking through history!
There seemed to be extra many people gathered about the town square.
Then we realized, WHY! Even though we celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July, the Declaration of Independence wasn't actually signed until the 8th.
Guess what day it was?!
It was July 8th and EVERYONE wanted to be here for this special day. There was a reading of the DOI and the line to go see the Liberty Bell, wrapped well around the corner.
We aren't picky and a window view did us just fine!
We walked through the area where the first Presidential House was built. You can see the foundation and they have erected walls to help you imagine the size and lay out. All this is free to walk by and enjoy!
The Chinese Lantern Festival was happening in Lincoln Square that we enjoyed! The lanterns were SO beautiful and detailed. Again, this was free to walk through, unless you went at night.
We headed over to Chinatown for lunch!
It was LEGIT. It was delicious and we tried some fun new things like SOUP DUMPLINGS!!!! Oh my heavens. You nibble the top off, let it cool, slurp the soup and then eat the dumpling and meat. We also completely fell in love with BUBBLE TEA! Have you ever had one of those? We got it cold, and did the black milk tea. I want one right now!!!
Now that our tummies were nice and full, we had some fuel to walk around this amazing place. There is so much to see at every turn!
Aren't those GIANT game pieces and old buildings cool?
And of course we had to take photos by the iconic LOVE sign!
It was VERY hot at this point, so we headed down by City Hall to the free giant fountains so the kids could play.
It was a FUN first day!!! We walked over 20,000 steps! Dinner back at Jason and Karena's then out for an evening walk. What can we say? There was more to see!
We walked by beautiful murals and headed past the dog park down to the water to watch the sunset.
Good night, Detroit! See you again tomorrow.